In April 2020, Judith Brindle from West Yorkshire entered a 12-month fixed-term deal with John Lewis Broadband for landline and broadband. For £32.50 a month, the broadband’s estimated download speed was 10.7Mbps, with a minimum guarantee of 9.1Mbps. But the broadband consistently didn’t hit the guaranteed speed, so Judith had difficulty online. The landline also crackled on calls. John Lewis Broadband was unable to resolve these issues and in November 2020 Judith wanted to end her contract without penalty and move elsewhere. Judith contacted Which? to discuss her options.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 requires that John Lewis Broadband performs its service with reasonable care and skill. Additionally, information about the service that is provided to the consumer before they enter the contract is binding
We advised that as John Lewis had guaranteed a speed that had not been met, it was in breach of contract and Judith should request to terminate without penalty, as well as requesting a refund of some of what she had paid. After pursuing the complaint, Judith was allowed to exit the contract free of charge and received £175 compensation. John Lewis said: ‘We are very sorry that we fell short in this instance. In the rare instances that speeds fall below our guaranteed levels, we allow customers to leave without a penalty if we’re not able to resolve the issue within 30 days.’